#1 – Don’t let me be surprised.
If something goes wrong, if a mistake has been made, or if we have dropped the ball, then the last thing I want to do is find out about what has happened “through the grapevine.” And…I don’t want half of the story either. (Many times, just half of the story is told in order to “protect” the leader…when actually quite the opposite is true. “Protection” is knowing all of the facts…ALL of them.)
Tell me the truth…always.
(AND…leaders, it is up to you to create this type of environment. If you have a nasty habit of “shooting the messenger,” then it is quite likely that you do not know the whole story in regards to what is happening in your organization.)
#2 – Don’t let me be the emperor that has no clothes!
I don’t know if you have read The Emperor’s New Clothes lately…it is a really funny children’s story that, unfortunately, isn’t so funny when it is played out in the church world.
Once again…I need the truth from the people around me. I do not view those who God has placed around me as a liability but rather an asset…and I can honestly say that I have had numerous bad ideas as a leader over the past several years that have not made their way towards implementation because there are men and women around me who are willing to say, “Dude, we love you…but…that’s a bad idea.”
Leaders…it takes a secure person to be able to create this type of environment. You can either do this and reap the benefits…or you can surround yourself with “yes men” who refuse to tell you the truth because they fear you more than they fear the Lord.
#3 – Keep short accounts with me
We are a team…God has called us to serve Jesus together, and the enemy would actually love to divide our leadership team way more than he wants to divide our church. (Because…he knows if he can divide us…the church will follow!)
As a team, we will have spirited debate. We will disagree on decisions that have been made and/or how things should be done in the future. When this happens, let’s be respectful, honest, and refuse to allow a root of bitterness to develop among us. Life is too short and hell is too hot for us to allow anger and frustration with one another to continue to fester.
#4 – Be willing to put your personal preferences aside for the greater good of God’s church.
When people’s main filter of making decisions is run through their personal preferences, the entire organization will always gravitate towards comfort and conformity because doing so is always easy…and as human beings, we have to be aware of this natural tendency to drift in this direction.
Jesus didn’t call us to take up our mattress…He commanded us to take up our cross. This is hard…and many times, it will mean putting our personal preferences aside in order to see God’s precepts carried out. We always have to be serious about putting pride aside and embracing whatever it is the Lord wants for us.
There has never been a church on the planet that has made a significant difference because the leaders were obsessed with always having their own way (this includes the senior pastor!). Let’s continue to beg God to conform and transform us so that we can do all HE has in mind for us to do…even when it places us in a perpetual state of discomfort.